Thank-you all for the comments so far. Let me try and answer the more generic points first and later I will answer the specific technical points.
Coming from a broadcast/industrial background I hate it when we deviate from standards. Unless it is for a completely closed system the lack of plug and play capability is a headache for manufacturers and customers alike. Think of the blank TV screen when you first plugged in your HDMI DVD player.
So it was natural that as the CCTV market moved from SD to HD manufacturers would look for a standard – hence HD-SDI being adopted. However, it was a case of Hobson’s choice, and as the standard was designed for broadcast it was inherently unsuitable for the CCTV market, primarily because of the distance required for transmission, but also the cost of suitable cabling and cost of implementation. And the move to 1080p/60Hz and beyond makes the situation even worse.
So analog HD was proposed, but without a suitable standards body such as the IEEE or SMPTE we have seen a fracturing of the market into 3 main camps (I won’t mention our own version at this point). Each are selling well in Asia (except ours!). Each are similar but incompatible. And each, while overcoming the distance/low cost cable problem, have introduced other problems, such as noise, lower resolution (far from HD-SDI resolution) and inability (or at least difficulty to extend beyond 720p/60Hz or 1080p/30Hz operation.
The old analog SD standards were designed as a complete closed system, from the limitations of the eye to colour resolution through to the gamma of the CRT tube. Everything was matched to give optimum system resolution. This changed when flat screen TVs were introduced because they didn’t have the persistence/gamma of the CRT tubes. So quite complex processing (scaling/de-interlacing) was required to match the apparent quality of a CRT tube.
The current CCTV system from image sensor to recorder is mismatched. For example the ISP IC matches the sensor format to the format for transmission – either HD-SDI or analog HD. The MPEG encoder accepts this format 4:2:2 format, discarding some information even before compression (i.e. 4:2:0 format). So we are transmitting information that gets thrown away.
So we therefore have proposed a system that looked at the complete requirements of the CCTV system, which are relatively simple, to record/display a sufficiently high quality image to identify/detect security breaches. Ideally this system should offer uncompressed images as the quality of compression ICs is usually quite poor (compare the quality of an own recorded movie with that of a pre-recorded movie. How can a $10 MPEG encoder IC match the performance of a $25k professional encoder). And as cameras are used many more times than recorders we should try to make the camera as simple as possible (lower cost, less heat, more reliable etc.). This is the philosophy behind SMWE.
I am an engineer, not a marketing person. I offer SMWE as an alternative to the analog HD ‘standards’ but also HD-SDI, because it is designed as a complete system, not one element of it. But of course we need customers to adopt it, we do not make cameras or recorders. But I naively hope that if we offer a better solution then it could be adopted.
What I have found surprising (and please remember I am a video engineer, not a security market expert) is that, from reading your website, the US seems to adopt standards that come out of Asia instead of going its own way. The fact you measure the equipment already makes you a step above most of Asia (try and find a spec. for analog HD cameras). Is there not a US manufacturer that, while obviously being wary of price, actually puts performance first. That can use a standard that is ‘open’ and can be bought from a company that is not effectively a competitor (which is a complaint of many Asia manufacturers who use Dahua’s HD-CVI).
What use is a cheap security system where the image quality is too poor to identify the intruder? (As we are based in Thailand you may have seen the CCTV images from the recent bombing – the only thing you can tell is he was wearing a yellow shirt.)
That is the thinking behind SMWE.